It’s official, and everyone can finally relax now: Janet Jackson is back. I don’t think there is any actual way for me to put into words the sound I made when I heard that Janet Jackson’s new record and a world tour were really happening, but imagine ear piercing and loud enough to make my cats jump. Because it is happening: the tour dates for Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable World Tour have been posted on her website, turning the tease she gave us in May into the best reality EVER. The tour, which will accompany the release of her new as-yet-unnamed album, will be the first for Jackson in over four years. An even bigger deal? The album will be her first since 2008’s Discipline, and the first official album released on her new label, Rhythm Nation. BEST LABEL NAME EVER, btw.
So, what can we expect from this momentous occasion? After all, world tours are so hard to plan, especially if you’re a Jackson. With a music career as long and kick ass as hers, there are a lot of moments and — ahem — mishaps to navigate in order to make the tour one that fans will be talking about for years to come. And, although I’m hurt that her tour doesn’t include any visits to the Northeast (Chicago friends, I’m coming for you!), I thought I’ve give Miss Janet a hand — a gloved hand, of course — and plan the whole thing for her.
Here’s what you can expect from the tour:
1. Barely there costumes and potential nip slips
With a long history of midriff baring tops, controversial album covers, and public costume malfunctions, you can expect Jackson to poke fun at her past and give her new audiences something to talk about. I’m personally hoping for her to come out at least once in just jeans and a pair of nipple tassels.
2. A Michael Jackson tribute
It’s been almost six years since Michael Jackson died, and, even though Janet paid tribute to him at the AMA in 2009, it wouldn’t be a performance without some sort of nod to him. Be it a cover of one of his popular songs, a "Thriller"-esque dance, or an appearance by the remaining members of the Jackson 5, you know that whatever she does is going to give her audience chills/leave them in tears. I’ll be in the cheap seats praying for an “Asha-oo” with the rest of them.
3. New music
The pre-order link is already live on Jackson’s website, so make no bones about it: this tour is definitely a means of selling her still-untitled album. In fact, pre-order bundles include a vinyl copy of her first single off the album AND special access to concert ticket pre-sales. Since Mama Jackson is doing so much to hook her early birds up, you can bet that a chunk of the performance will include new songs from the album.
4. Serious throwbacks
So help me god, if she doesn’t put on some shoulder pads, a black cap, and a pair of gloves at some point during the performance, I am going to WALK. OUT. Just kidding. I’d never walk away from Janet. Still, with a career like hers, Jackson has a string of hit songs that audiences of all ages will be wanting to hear. Whether you were tuning into MTV during the “Rhythm Nation” era or catching her latest video on TRL after school, Jackson has fans in a whole slew of generations, and she knows it. Don’t worry. She’ll do right by all of us with a killer rendition of “If.” Especially if I have anything to say about it.
5. Awesome group dance numbers
Pretty much every Janet Jackson song has been made better by a kick ass dance routine with more commitment and hard lines than an entire season of So You Think You Can Dance. You can count on the concert being well choreographed, and on Mama Janet herself making some pretty dramatic entrances after each costume change.
6. Political statements
Never one to shy away from making a statement, Jackson has always used her music to tackle a ton of social injustices. Racism, poverty, homelessness, you name it. You can be sure that Jackson will be doing more than just singing pretty songs during her performance.
Can’t wait any longer? Here are the dates for the tour:
August 31 - Vancouver, BC @ Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena September 02 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddldome September 04 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place September 05 - Grand Prairie, AB @ Revolution Place September 07 - Saskatoon, SK @ SaskTel Centre September 08 - Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre September 11 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena September 12 - Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center September 15 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre September 17 - Raleigh, NC @ Walnut Creek Amphitheatre September 18 - Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion September 20 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena September 23 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center September 24 - Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena September 26 - Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park Amphitheatre September 27 - Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater September 29 - Memphis, TN @ Fedex Forum September 30 - New Orleans @ Smoothie King Center October 09 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Axis at Planet Hollywood October 10 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Axis at Planet Hollywood October 13 - San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium October 14 - San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium October 16 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum October 17 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena October 19 - Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre October 21 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl October 22 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl October 24 - Salt Lake City, UT @ EnergySolutions Arena October 25 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center October 27 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center October 29 - St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena October 30 - Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center November 01 - Minneapolis @ Target Center November 03 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre November 04 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre November 12 - Honolulu, HI @ Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena
Image: Getty Images (2); Twitter; Giphy (4)